Steve Maziarz is a member of our board of directors. Steve is a graduate of the ELCA Parish Lay Ministry Academy for Northern Texas/Northern Louisiana Synod and serves, in several capacities, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Garland. Additionally, he is a facilitator of the Grief Recovery Group (Grief Share) at Springcreek Church in Garland.
Steve wanted to share his story with you so you could understand how easily homelessness can happen to any one of us!
What do YOU think when you see someone panhandling?
Is it something like:
"They're just going to use it for their next fix."
"He'll just buy booze with it and not food."
"Don't be so lazy; go get a job."
Those were once my thoughts. I was making six figures and 'living the dream.' Expensive cars; nice house; great investment portfolio; several vacations a year; stock options; quarterly bonuses. Life was FANTASTIC! Then, inside of ten months, I lost just about everything. Eventually, I was sleeping in my car as I traveled to "visit" relatives. No more high class hotels for me. I was, almost literally, the guy holding up that cardboard sign and begging for a handout.
Twenty years later, I've rebuilt my life. But, I'm a changed man, with a completely different outlook on the homeless. I now know just how easily everything you hold dear can be wiped away.
For some, a shower and a change of clothes, bring great joy. Imagine that for a second. What we just take for granted each and every day, is a luxury for some. Some 500 children and their parents, in our immediate area alone, don't have a permanent place to call home. For many, all it took was one bad break: losing a job; house fire; medical expenses; bad investments, etc.
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’
There's a small number of us who are extending a hand to the homeless people in and around Garland. Our goal is to give them a path to having a permanent roof over their head and a job. We've had some successes, but there's a greater need out there.
We invite you to learn more about how you can help make a difference in your community.